KUER created the “Ogden Listening Tour ” in February 2022 to learn how to best serve the diverse communities in this culturally and historically significant city, located 35 miles north of KUER. This project drew inspiration from “Community Listening Tours” by the Local Media Association and its Lab for Journalism Funding. KUER strives to reach new audiences in an authentic way and to achieve that is to first open a dialogue with the communities we wish to serve.
40+ stakeholders in arts, government, business, and media were invited to participate in four conversations with KUER content creators. Ogden is a community of 550,000 and although relatively close to Salt Lake City, its history and industry are unique to the area; it is one of the most diverse towns with Utah’s second largest LatinX population.
A professional facilitator led four conversations on the perceptions and the needs of KUER service in the Ogden area. KUER’s staff learned that the many communities in Ogden have different desires and needs, and to serve each, we must ask what’s important to each. Distinct communities identified included young people, employees of the Hill Air Force Base, LatinX residents, people with disabilities, K-12 teachers, refugee community members, people experiencing homelessness, the formerly incarcerated, the mayor, school board members and elected county officials.
Long-term goals resulted:
Partnerships with Weber County Library system, Marshall White Center, Weber State University, and local arts organizations
Focus on coverage of Ogden’s youth – who is the next generation of Ogden?
Assign a reporter to live in and cover Ogden and the Hill Air Force Base
Action items defined:
“Pitch Perfect” at the Weber County Library in Ogden. KUER’s executive director, station manager, news director and media representatives from PBS Utah, the Ogden Standard Examiner, and KSL Radio workshopped with 20 representatives from local arts and culture organizations about pitching story ideas to reporters.
KUER’s sponsorship of NPR’s StoryCorps will include an installment at the Weber County Library and reservations for locals are full. The tour will include a community event to listen to the Ogden StoryCorps interviews.
We’ll reboot the youth podcast training project Hear Me Now with Amir Jackson at Ogden’s “Nurture the Creative Mind.” Amir and a KUER producer will work with 8 Ogden high school students in producing a podcast this fall.